From Support Staff to SENCO | SchoolsWorld

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From Support Staff to SENCO

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At The Deanery High School in Wigan, Janine Priest is the student support manager. From a brand new purpose-built complex, she runs a department of eight learning support assistants and one part-time administrator.

Janine joined The Deanery nine years ago as a part-time admin assistant in the special needs department, just after she finished her A-levels and has worked her way up, starting as supply cover, moving on to TA and senior TA, through to SENCO.

The programme follows her as she manages the team, offering strategies and resources to other staff. We follow Janine as she:

  • Liaises with outside agencies - deaf and blind pupils are supported in the sensory support unit staffed by outside agencies, but under her overall management
  • Acts as surrogate "mum" to some of the 150 pupils on the register of special needs
  • Operates an open-door policy with parents, as she feels they are an important part of the team

This programme is a fascinating glimpse into her challenging, yet rewarding role.

Part of the series: School Matters

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